The cloud has become one of the most widely used and revolutionary IT tools to be adopted by businesses. The flexibility and ease it confers upon file sharing and collaboration have resulted in immense gains in productivity and efficiency. It has also led to gains in security and cost-effectiveness, making it an incredibly popular solution for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Its adoption has been neither simultaneous nor universal, however. While many businesses have benefited from its offerings, others have chosen to stick with more traditional solutions. This is because, for all the benefits that the cloud offers, its adoption does come at a cost. Switching to new platforms always requires processes and working methods to be overhauled, not to mention the capital and installation investments required.
The challenge is in determining when the benefits of adopting cloud solutions outweigh these costs for your business. Doing so requires thorough contextual understanding of your circumstances and a rigorous analytical methodology. This is where F1 Solutions comes in. We can guide your business so you’ll know when the time is right to switch over and soar through the clouds. Here are some of the signs we look for.
1. Outdated systems = Hard work and low productivity
Server systems and software are generally designed to last about five years. Any longer than that and performance starts to suffer as digital wear and tear takes its toll. It’s also around this time that technology begins to really pale against the cutting-edge solutions available on the market. To make matters worse, expert support and maintenance services start to taper off, just as issues start to become more complex and frequent.
If your systems are more than five years old, or the user experience is less than ideal, your business may be due for a cloud migration. They’re indications that it’s time for an upgrade anyway, and it’s often more cost-effective and seamless in the long term to time a large-scale overhaul with a narrower, more isolated one.
2. Maintenance and repair: The phantom costs
As mentioned, older and less efficient systems increasingly necessitate more and more repair the longer they’re in use. At some point, the question you have to ask is whether the money sunk into enabling these older systems to remain usable isn’t better spent on upgrading. Upgrading may cost more upfront, but it will result in efficiency and productivity gains that will translate into financial gains, especially over the long term. In this sense, the money spent functions like an investment that will bear fruit in the future, as opposed to a pure cost.
An added benefit of cloud solutions is that they’re usually offered on a subscription-based service model. This means that IT infrastructure management and maintenance is effectively outsourced to your managed services provider (MSP), who’ll in turn take care of maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting for a fixed fee. You’ll only need to pay additional costs when you scale up, resulting in even more long-term savings.
3. Aggressive expansion
Speaking of scaling up, the cloud becomes even more viable when you’ve got growth plans on the horizon. From an IT perspective, the relatively hardware-free nature of cloud solutions makes scaling up both easier and less costly, as less needs to be invested into upfront material costs. As mentioned, your MSP also takes care of the technical complications, resulting in fewer surprise costs arising from compatibility or troubleshooting issues.
From a more general, geographic perspective, cloud solutions are also ideal. Running your network systems from an off-site center means that they pose no restrictions to your expansion. You can open a second office in a different city, miles from your existing one, and your team will have the same access to your resources as they would on your original site. Your team members would also have the flexibility to work remotely as the need arises, like when on business trips.
4. Security concerns
Not only does the cloud confer greater flexibility and ease of use, but it’s also more secure. If you’ve got any concerns at all about cyberattacks on your proprietary network and data, moving them all to the cloud could be a wise decision.
Not only will they be protected by state-of-the-art features and systems as provided by your manager service provider, they’ll be consolidated so that fewer vulnerabilities in your network can be exploited. It’s like storing all your valuables in a state-of-the-art vault that’s looked after by dozens of cybersecurity professionals.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, call F1 solutions today. We have the top-notch tools and expertise to ensure your cloud migration journey goes off without a hitch!